• Shay Neary has been calling out the transphobic men she meets while online dating. (Shay Neary / Instagram.)Source: Shay Neary / Instagram.
"You're exposing yourself, making yourself vulnerable and telling them your gender status when it's such an awkward conversation to have. It shouldn't be necessary. We should be more comfortable with gender as a society."
By
Chloe Sargeant

4 Jul 2017 - 3:30 PM  UPDATED 4 Jul 2017 - 3:30 PM

Plus-size transgender model Shay Neary has been changing mindsets on a global scale recently. Earlier this year, SBS covered the news that she'd become the first plus-size trans model to score a major international modelling contract. 

Neary starred in a campaign with major UK plus-size brand Yours Clothing, adding her voice to the campaign by creating a style guide for transgender shoppers. 

The model has gone from strength to strength, finding strong support online via social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram. 

However, the model has been posting some rather distressing images to her feed of late. Neary has posted screenshots of just some of the abuse and ignorance she's received while taking part in the online dating world. 

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Neary's posts calling out the transphobic behaviour range from abusive, to simply ignorant, to absolutely bizarre.

Neary spoke to the Daily Mail, saying she addresses her trans identity immediately with all people she speaks to on online dating sites, which is nerve-wracking, as it often leads to prospective dates opting out of the conversation, or becoming abusive. 

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She says that having to disclose her gender status immediately makes her feel "as if we're walking penises and vaginas', and that identity and personality is irrelevant in favour of genitalia. 

"You're exposing yourself, making yourself vulnerable and telling them your gender status when it's such an awkward conversation to have. It shouldn't be necessary. We should be more comfortable with gender as a society."

Neary also said that while some men "can't get past the biology of it", there's many men who are "perfectly fine" with meeting a transgender woman through online dating. But if they're not, that's obviously okay - they simply have to be respectful in their response:

"It’s just about how it’s addressed. If someone is just genuinely not interested but educated on the topic, that's OK. There has to be a level of respect. If you can say, 'I was attracted to this person but I understand they're trans and I'm not really interested', that’s OK." 

You can see more of Neary's screenshots calling out transphobia via her Instagram account: instagram.com/shadeyshay.